Are you searching for an unbiased UserWay review and want to find out if its features are matched with your needs to make your website accessible? No need to search anywhere else because this is the review that you’re looking for.
To begin with…
There’s an increasing number of lawsuits that are being filed against websites because they are not compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG) and American Disabilities Act (ADA).
This has raised concerns for a lot of website owners and developers because making their existing websites accessible and fully compliant with these standards can be troublesome and challenging especially if their websites have been online for several years now since a lot of work needs to be done.
What’s interesting though is that you don’t have to do these adjustments manually and waste a lot of time and effort to improve your website’s accessibility because there are a number of brands offering accessibility solutions and among them is UserWay.
What is UserWay?
UserWay is an online widget or add-on that you can incorporate to your website so it will be compliant with accessibility standards such as the ADA and WCAG in no time.
How does it work?
Its AI-powered widget does the job of making smart modifications on your website without the need to make dramatic changes to the existing code. You just need to do a simple installation, follow some short and basic instructions and you’ll have the widget incorporated in your website without doing a lot of changes manually.
They also have a set of scanning and monitoring service and comprehensive audit reports that are much more advanced and detailed as compared to other accessibility testing services that can find in the market today.
This is just a short preview of the services that you can avail from UserWay. If you want to know more about their features and if they are indeed matched to your website’s accessibility requirements then be sure to continue reading this review to know more.
And before anything else, let’s look at UserWay’s pros and cons:
- Easy to install
- Customizable toolbar
- Doesn’t require advanced coding experience
- Generates custom accessibility statement
- Supports over 30 languages
- Covers various disabilities
- Free trial for 10 days
- Free version has limited features
- Phone support not available
So how do you install UserWay with your website and the next important question is, is it compatible with the system that you are using?
Here’s the good news:
UserWay is compatible with major CMS (content management software) platforms including the following:
- Google Tag Manager
- CMS Max
If you’ll notice from the list, it can even run on plain vanilla HTML or CSS so it works perfectly with major site creation platforms out-of-the-box and even on websites that uses basic HTML.
So how do you install UserWay on your website?
Each of the platforms or systems mentioned above have very detailed guides and video instructions, which are not very complicated even for someone who has no coding experience.
In WordPress for example, you have the choice of following their standard installation guide or their manual installation. Whatever option you choose, the steps to follow are pretty simply and the end-result is basically the same.
Here’s a short 1-minute-and-39-second video of their standard installation guide for WordPress sites:
If you don’t have the time to watch this video, the steps are very simple:
- Search for UserWay in the Plugins section of WordPress and when you found it in the results, just install it and activate.
- Go to the Settings section of the WordPress admin site and look for the UserWay tab.
- Register for an account by providing your email, name and URL, and then click on save the changes.
That’s it! You’re done. You will now be able to see the widget running in your website.
For any other platforms that they support, you can go to the UserWay YouTube channel and search for the installation guides there.
Here’s the thing:
Their installation guides and videos won’t require a tech person to fully understand them so even if you only have basic coding experience or even no coding experience at all, you will be able to follow the step-by-step instructions.
And if you’re a web developer, this will surely be a piece of cake for you!
Before we continue, take note of this:
Around 20% of people worldwide right now is experiencing some sort of disability. That’s quite a lot and if you have a website that won’t be able to assist this specific group for browsing your pages then that’s how much traffic you can possibly lose just because they are not user-friendly and accessible.
If you have a website and it has been online for several years already then making it accessible can be very challenging especially it already has lots of pages to work on.
The more the existing pages your website has, the more it will take time and effort to perform a full audit and test them for compliance with the WCAG and ADA standards especially if several pages have been coded differently.
You’ll also need to consider keyboard navigation and screen reader compatibility and fixing this issue will surely require you more time.
Now for such dilemmas, this is what UserWay specifically aims to resolve and according to their website, they have the technology and tools to scan and monitor sites if they are able to meet these standards, identify any accessibility violations and even fix them.
So what are the accessibility testing services offered by UserWay and the more important question is, are they really effective?
What’s interesting is that UserWay has 3 kinds of testing solutions Accessibility Scanner, Accessibility Inspector and Accessibility Audit
This service offers 2 choices: a free version and a pro version
The free version is only limited to a single scan and would already provide you with a list of violations and remediations. This however only works on desktop resolutions.
If you really want to maximize the features of this tool then the pro version is the best to use. And since this is a premium subscription, there are no restrictions on the number pages that you can scan.
It is capable of doing a full website scan with a list of detected violations and remediations as well. The service comes with real-time monitoring and alerts for any new accessibility issues that the AI would detect.
Lastly, it works on various resolutions including desktop, mobile or even a custom one.
This tool is very simple to use. All you need to do is to enter your URL and you’ll get a detailed report of accessibility violations that have been detected by their AI.
If you still prefer to have real people do the test then this option is for you. This kind of audit report is the most compliant with the accessibility standards that were set by US and international regulators.
With this service, you have a well-organized list of all the accessibility violations that were found on your website based on the comprehensive audit and you’ll get all the action items and recommendations needed in order to fix them.
Since this is a more comprehensive audit, don’t expect to get a report in just 1 day. The release of the report would depend on your subscription.
For the Standard Website, a report is delivered in 14 business days while Large Website audits take a little longer at 21 business days. An Ecommerce Site audit could take 30 business days to generate a report since websites under this category have much more pages to test while an Enterprise App audit doesn’t have an estimation as the release of the report would be primarily based on the structure and complexity of the app.
Overall, we were very satisfied with the myriad of accessibility testing solutions that are offered by UserWay. It’s quite sophisticated and offers a number of options so you can choose the most suitable service for your website’s auditing needs although it can be confusing at first which among the 3 available options are the best to choose but in general, that would greatly depend on the type of your website, its purpose and the number of pages.
If there’s one feature that your website needs to have regardless of its purpose or use, then it has to be user-friendly. Such feature is even more important and essential if you want to make it accessible.
UserWay promises to improve this feature on almost any website via their widget that has been especially developed for users with disabilities and will allow them to navigate the pages with more convenience.
As per the test that we have done on this widget, we found these features on the interface to be the most interesting:
1. Keyboard Navigation
This basically turns on or off the keyboard navigation features.
2. Screen Reader
Upon turning this feature, users will hear an audio and can set the reading pace to normal (1 of 3), fast (2 of 3), or slow (3 of 3).
Via this option, users can invert the default colors, choose a dark contrast, a light contrast or desaturate them.
4. Highlight Links
As the name implies, this would highlight all the current links on the website.
5. Bigger Text
If the user wants to increase the size of the texts, they can choose from up to 4 sizes.
6. Text Spacing
If they find the current spacing of the texts on your website to be too close, they can choose from 3 available spacing options: light, moderate or heavy.
7. Pause Animations
Users that don’t want to see moving images or animations can pause or play them via this interface.
8. Dyslexia Friendly
This interface converts all the fonts on the website to use the integrated Dyslexia Friendly Font (UDF), a specific typeface for people with dyslexia. Another option is to change the texts to using legible fonts.
When the user clicks this feature, it will make the cursor even bigger and there’s also an option to use an add-on that comes with a reading guide.
This is created for users who have low vision to make the contents of the website easier to read. It automatically makes adjustments so the site will have higher contrast. Users will also be able to see alternative texts and aria labels when they hover the mouse on onscreen elements.
In this section, we will be discussing about the costs of subscribing to UserWay’s premium accessibility solutions: Widget, Audit and Scanner
Accessibility Widget Pricing
For the Accessibility Widget, you can choose to subscribe for an annual or monthly plan.
You have the choice of getting a subscription that you can pay monthly or annually. As you can see from the image below, there are 4 types of plans and this is based on the size of your website and its purpose. It can support websites of small businesses to enterprise organizations.
Here’s the deal:
As with most subscription types, the annual plans will give you more savings.
For example, with a Small Business annual plan costs, you’ll only need to pay $490 and you’ll even get 2 free months as a bonus. The same package but with a monthly plan costs $49 so that would have a 12-month cost of $588.
So to make it simple: Pay $490 for 14 months or $588 for 12 months? You’re more likely going to choose the former over the latter.
And here’s what we noticed:
All of these plans come with the same benefits including the full access of their AI-powered accessibility functions, compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA, ADA and Section 508 compliance, and continuous real-time accessibility monitoring. The only difference is that Medium Business, Large Business and Enterprise accounts are assigned with a dedicated account manager.
Now the big question: is it a good deal?
Their pricing falls within the medium range and if you compare them to other brands would have fees of around $1000 to $50,000, we actually find UserWay’s packages to be much more reasonable.
Accessibility Audit Pricing
Now let’s take a look at the pricing of their Accessibility Audit packages:
As you can see from the image above, their audit programs are a bit pricey but do take note that this is intended for websites that require extensive accessibility testing and full compliance so this is definitely for those who want top-class results.
Accessibility Scanner Pricing
Lastly, let’s take a look at the rates of their Accessibility Scanner solutions:
The pricing for this service is pretty simple. If you just have a single page to scan then you can avail of their free plan which will allow you to scan 1 page per month.
The rest of the plans would be based on the number of pages that you would like to scan: 10 pages at $49 per month, 100 pages at $299 per month and 1000 pages at $999 per month. If your website has over 1000 pages then the Enterprise Plan is your best choice because it doesn’t have a cap on the number of pages that it can scan and even offers flexible pricing.
It’s important to remember this:
Any service requires good customer service and that includes world web accessibility service providers. It is critical for you to know if they are capable of providing quality support for their clients or they are simply just after your money.
So does UserWay provide good customer support? You’ll soon find out when you continue reading this review.
First of all, there’s no specific support page but rather a selection of sections user their Resources menu. This has a lot of informative sections such as tutorials, languages, platforms, website accessibility basics, and their very own UserWay University, which is a comprehensive document worth reading if you’d like to understand the WCAG 2.1 and its technical requirements in detail.
Here’s the deal:
If you’re new to accessibility and would like to know more about it then these resources are the best place to start.
So what’s the downside?
There’s no phone support so it’s not possible for you to contact them over the phone. It’s a disadvantage but really not a big deal since there are other ways to get in touch with their support team.
If you’re undecided yet and would like to know more about the web accessibility solutions that they offer then you can simply use the free trial service which is valid for 10 days or send a demo request via their form.
And lastly, there’s the live chat support which can be accessed from the website. The live chat icon is placed at the lower left corner of the screen. Just click on this icon, write you question or message and a live agent will answer you back in a few minutes.
In the event that no agent is available, the live chat interface will ask for your email address so they can send their response there once an agent is able to receive your message.
Overall, we were very satisfied on how our questions were answered. They provided us with all the information that we need and we never experienced any sort of marketing push which is a major plus.
UserWay is a great option if you need to make your website as accessible as possible. Its AI-powered solution has greatly improved and can do the job much faster and easier than other brands out there.
Compatibility is a non-issue because their widget can run on a basic HTML site and supports all major CMS and website creation platforms.
When it comes to accessibility testing and auditing, they offer a suite of options so you can choose the best one that matches your requirements. It’s also worth mentioning that these are among the best and the most comprehensive testing solutions that are currently available in the market.
In terms of client support, they have detailed instruction guides and a very assistive customer service team if you have any questions or concerns regarding their products.
So if you’ve got a website and you’re still contemplating on what service to use to solve your accessibility dilemma in a much faster way then UserWay is definitely a great choice.